El Roca gets another chance at 1600m in Doncaster Mile

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 31st, 2014

Cambridge trainer Trent Busuttin is willing to give his smart three year old El Roca another chance to run 1600m and will head towards the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 12.

El Roca will be given another chance to run 1600m in Doncaster Mile.

El Roca will be given another chance to run 1600m in Doncaster Mile. Photo by Steve Hart.

And big race jockey Glen Boss will take over at ‘The Championships‘ from Hugh Bowman who has been on El Roca at three of his four Australian starts this campaign.

Even though El Roca finished second with Bowman behind Eurozone in the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas at Randwick on March 15 over 1600m, Busuttin is not convinced that the Fastnet Rock colt will run out a strong ‘Mile’.

“I’m not sure if he really gets the mile but you don’t get many chances to get into a Doncaster on this weight,” Busuttin told AAP.

“I was really proud of him in the George Ryder and it would be nice to get him into a race where he could be ridden a little quieter.”

“He’s not far off winning a big race.”

“He just hasn’t been able to get one yet.”

After running second in the Randwick Guineas, El Roca ran a brave race when third to Gordon Lord Byron and Speediness after setting the pace in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last Saturday.

But Busuttin finds it hard to bypass the opportunity of going into a Group 1 handicap with only 51.5kgs with a horse that is racing in good form.

El Roca was originally weighted on 50kgs but with the topweight It’s A Dundeel, who was allotted 58kgs, unlikely to take his place in the field, the weights will have to be raised to allow the new topweight, possibly Boban or Gordon Lord Byron, now on 56.5kgs, to carry the mandatory 58kgs.

El Roca is on the second line of betting for the Doncaster Mile at $9 with George Ryder Stakes winner Gordon Lord Byron at Ladbrokes.com.au.

Messene from the Team Hawkes stable is currently the $3.30 favourite following his win in the Group 2 $175,000 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 22.

Also in the betting is the Guy Walter trained Toydini at $10 while there are three runners marked at $12, Boban, Dissident and Sacred Falls.

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